Ford patents a system that sends drones to jump-start dead car batteries
A little help from above! Ford has patented a system that sends DRONES to recharge depleted car batteries, and the drones even raise the hood
The next time your car breaks down, just look up at the sky – Ford can use rescue drones to rev up dead batteries in cars stranded on the side of the road.
On Tuesday, a US automaker published a patent for a system that uses aircraft equipped with three-prong arms that open the hood to connect jumper cables or direct charge.
The document describes the vehicle, whether passenger or commercial, detects a dead battery and transmits a signal to a central computer that sends the fleet.
Ford suggests using the car’s GPS location to send one of the drones to the car, which will take pictures of the scene and relay instructions to other cars.
Ford’s system, which uses aircraft equipped with three-prong arms that open the hood to connect jumper cables or direct charge.
Ford is issuing patents for various uses of drones, suggesting it could eventually develop its own self-propelled vehicles, one of which in 2018 will use UAVs to control unmanned vehicles.
A recent patent was originally filed in 2017 but has now been published. Ford Power noticed it for the first time.
The paper notes that this system would be ideal for vehicles that break down in remote areas.
The computer will receive a signal from the car that the battery is low, prompting it to send a message to the driver asking if they need help.
If it’s the driver, the computer connects to the car’s GPS to determine its location and sends the drones flying.
The drones are equipped with electrically conductive end effectors that connect to the battery and charge the depleted battery.
In February, Ford received another patent for a system that encourages a vehicle to reclaim ownership.
It describes how a car is returned to the dealership or junkyard on its own if the owner doesn’t respond to messages about their expired account.
The American automaker would start the process by turning off “comfort features”, playing sounds inside the car, and limiting where the vehicle can drive.
In February, Ford received another patent for a system that encourages a vehicle to reclaim ownership. It describes how a car is returned to the dealership or junkyard on its own if the owner doesn’t respond to messages about their expired account.
If all else fails, Ford will activate the autonomous driving feature and the owner will have no choice but to abandon the car.
While patent applications don’t always translate into actual services, Ford describes using a “take-away computer” that can be set up so it can take control of the features.
Ford will attempt a non-intrusive method by notifying the owner of the expired account by sending a message to the car or smartphone.
If these messages are ignored, Ford will raise the temperature by turning off features such as music and air conditioning, hoping the owner will be uncomfortable and pay.
The next step is to play annoying sounds such as ringing or buzzing inside the car while the driver is driving, which will continue to play until the car is turned off.
The next step in Ford’s master plan would be to restrict access to the car on certain days or hours.
The patent also notes that the system could make the car unusable on weekends, but would allow the driver to drive to work so as not to interfere with the person making payments.
And the last step is to get ownership of the car.
The patent notes that if a car has a high mileage, it will go to a landfill for recycling.